The bodies of a husband and wife were found yesterday in their apartment in a building for senior citizens in Southeast Washington, police said.
Investigators said the two had been dead for four or five days, and at least one of the bodies showed signs of trauma. There was no evidence that their apartment had been broken into, and the case may be a murder-suicide, sources said.
The discovery was made by a tenant and a security guard who used a passkey to open the dwelling in the Arthur Capper Senior Facility, a nine-story building at Sixth and L streets SE.
The resident, Benjamin Bowlding, 71, said the dead woman was lying on her back in the living room, and her husband was on his back in the bathroom. Bowlding described wounds on both victims and said each had blood on the face.
But police officials, without specifying, said that only one of the two had been slain. They said the condition of the bodies, sealed in a warm room for some time, made any analysis at the scene difficult.
The names of the two were not released. Residents of the building, which has more than 100 units, said the couple had lived there for more than eight years.
The husband, known to some of the men as "Shorty," recently celebrated his 81st birthday, several people said. The wife was 76, and it was unclear whether they had any relatives.
To try to allay residents' fears, the Department of Public and Assisted Housing increased patrols of the building yesterday afternoon, even though there is no evidence that the level of security played a role in the deaths.
Like other public housing buildings, the senior citizen center has security guards at the entrance, and residents and visitors are screened. Benjamin Johnson, the agency's acting director, said the patrols probably will remain until police develop more information about the deaths.
Police yesterday also released the name of an 18-year-old who was fatally shot in Northwest Washington Tuesday night. The victim, Steven Farley, of the 2300 block of High Street SE, was found at Fourth and K streets NW about 10:50 p.m.
Farley, who had been shot in the chest, was taken to Washington Hospital Center, where he was pronounced dead. Police said they had no suspects or possible motive in the case.